“Where are we going?” Brother Amos asked apologetically, as if he knew he ought to know, and felt badly that he didn’t.
“To your hut,” Lyssa said, out of breath from walking as fast as she could in the bitter cold. Brother Amos had always been a little forgetful, but this frightened her. “You said you had a root there that could cure my mother.”
“Yes, yes, I remember now,” he said. “Roots and herbs can help us, but healing is a gift from God.”
A light snow began to fall, making the empty white world seem even whiter.
“Strange,” Brother Amos said with a baffled laugh, “I don’t feel the cold.”
It’s because you’re just a book, Lyssa thought, though she didn’t say anything.
Lyssa reached the top of the hill where she expected to see the old abandoned hut hidden in the dell below, but there was nothing there.
“Are we going the right way?” She asked, half to herself.
“A little farther, and we’ll be there,” Brother Amos said, strangely cheerful.
Lyssa couldn’t see where the sun was for the thick snow clouds, but she felt that the morning must be gone already. She hadn’t remembered the hut being so far, but that had been in the spring when walking over these grassy hills was an easy thing.
“Do you like my garden?” Brother Amos asked, though there was no garden in sight.
“Your garden?” Lyssa asked.
“It’s so nice of you to come. I must go out and tend to the goats now.”
“Brother Amos, are you all right?” Lyssa asked. He seemed to be wandering in mind, like Grandfather in the months before he died.
Brother Amos didn’t answer for a moment, but then his voice came breathless and frightened. “What are you doing here? The fire! You have to get out! The abby is burning! It’s burning,” he finished with a sob.
“Brother Amos?” Lyssa said gently.
“It’s a lovely garden, isn’t it?” he said, and this time he sounded young, not much older than Lyssa herself. “Brother James is teaching me about all the plants here. I’ve started a diary, see?”
Over the next hill, Lyssa finally caught a glimpse of stone wall tucked away in a small stand of trees. “Is that your hut?” she asked.
“Yes,” and now he sounded old, weary, and sad. “Come, let’s find that cure for your mother.”